DOHA: Reigning QSL champions Al Rayyan got their season off to perfect start with a convincing 3-0 win over newly promoted Al Shahania, thanks to a hat trick from their captain Rodrigo Tabata.
Jorge Fossati’s men had most of the possession in the first half and were rewarded with a penalty in the 30th minute after Spanish defender Alvaro Mejia fouled Tabata in the box. Last season’s top scorer, Tabata, made no mistake as he stepped up for the penalty and confidently placed the ball in the top right corner to give his side the lead.
The closest Al Shahania came to scoring was in the thirty seventh minute when Algerian attacker Mohamed Tiaïba headed in the ball towards the goal from a cross. However, Rayyan keeper, Saud Al Hajiri was quick on his feet to make the save.
In the second half, Tabata grabbed his and Al Rayyan’s second of the evening on the 58th minute. The Qatari international calmly slid the ball into net after receiving an accurate cross in the box from team mate Sergio Garcia.
Al Shahania’s evening went from bad from bad to worse after captain Alvaro Mejia was given his marching orders after fouling Rayyan midfielder Ahmed Alaaeldin.In injury time, Tabata completed his hat trick with a long distance strike, bending the ball into the net to make it three points on the night for the champions.
Easy for Lekhwiya
In another match, Djamel Belmadi's men stamped their authority against QSL newcomers Muaither with a comprehensive 4-0 victory. The Cops enjoyed the majority of possession and opportunities throughout the match in what was a tough learning curve for the newly promoted side.
Lekhwiya’s summer signing, Yousef El Arabi, opened the scoring on the 10th minute. Nam Tae Hee lured the defenders towards him, set up the Moroccan inside the box and Al Arabi blasted the ball into the net with his left foot.
Moez Ali doubled Lekhwiya’s lead in the 34th minute. The Qatari youngster tapped in the ball from close range getting on the end of Khalid Muftah’s low cross.
In the 66th minute Ali Afif made it 3-0 as his curving shot found the top left corner. The Qatari attacker received a pass inside the box and cut the ball to his favoured right foot before curving the ball past Basil Zidan in the Muaither goal.
Muaither’s search for a consolation goal was fruitless as Uruguayan midfielder Matias Mier’s curling shot the ball went well wide late in the second half.
Substitute Mohammed Muntari’s leaping header found the back of the net in the 78th minute to make it 4 - 0 for The Red Knights. Philip Birol’s men were left frustrated on the night in what was a tough lesson by the former QSL champions.